I have just finished reading Kamen Navenkin's book and I must say that I am quite impressed - this is truly the "must have" for anyone considering serious research about the employment of German panzer divisions during the latter half of WW2 (summer '43 until the end), when they were used as multi-purpose "Fire Brigades" to counterattack, shore up crumbling front lines, or to restore the initiative, often when there was little hope of anything other than a temporary breathing space.
Beginning with an overview of the creation of the office of the Inspector of Panzer Troops, first led by Heinz Guderian, Mr. Navenkin then provides the reader a useful service by a detailed description of the organization, tactics and equipment shared by most late war panzer divisions, featuring those of the Army, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS.
After absorbing this extremely useful and concise information, the reader will then be able to move on to the centerpiece of his book - the operational history of each Panzer Division during the period described and how they fulfilled their "Fire Brigade" role, often with surprisingly successful results. He also provides the reader with extremely detailed orders of battle for each division at particular points in time, reports on daily available combat strengths (including number of combat-ready vehicles) and lists all the various types and models of vehicles (Tigers, Panthers, Pz. IVs etc.) that the divisions fielded during the period.
Overall, an exptremely impressive work, which shows what can be done when care is taken to research primary source materials (Mr. Navenkin spent years delving into original German records) instead of the usual secondary or tertiary source material that so many books on the subject indulge in these days. Highly recommended, a definite must-have for any serious student of late-war panzer divisions on the Eastern, Western and Southern Fronts!
Abbott: This sure is a beautiful forest.
Costello: Too bad you can't see it for all those trees!